Mariano Rivera first ever unanimous selection to Baseball HOFBy Amber Lee
New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera became the first player unanimously elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
— MLB (@MLB) January 22, 2019
All 425 voters included Rivera on their Hall of Fame ballots. Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina filled out the 2019 class.
“Amazing,” Rivera said of his achievement, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. “It was a beautiful, long career.”
Ken Griffey Jr. nearly became the first unanimous Hall of Famer in 2016. He was included on 437 of 440 ballots (99.3 percent), which set a record (in 1992, Tom Seaver was on 98.8 percent of ballots).
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The Athletic’s Marc Carig quipped about why the Panamanian might have been such a favorite among the voting bloc in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America:
In retrospect, of course Mariano Rivera got every baseball writers’ vote. No player in the history of the game has ever helped make more deadlines.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) January 22, 2019
Mariano Rivera helped the Yankees win five World Series titles, and he was invaluable as New York turned to him to finish postseason games.
In 141 playoff innings, he recorded 110 strikeouts and allowed a paltry 86 hits, 21 walks and 11 earned runs. His 42 postseason saves are more than twice as many as the next closest player has (Brad Lidge, 18).
Rivera was the World Series MVP in 1999 and American League Championship Series MVP in 2003.